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Old 02-14-2011, 07:41 AM   #1
dragonlor20
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Default Stuck Ferment: Scottish Ale

So looking for a bit of feedback on this beer...

I have a Scottish Ale that I am pretty sure I just crippled. The beer had been fermenting about 10 days and was at 1.030 at 5 days, at 9 days it had moved to 1.027. I went ahead and transferred it to a secondary. My reason for doing this was that I had used a secondary fermenter (small) as my primary fermenter because my primary bucket was in use with another beer and my primary glass had an infection a while back and I have been scittish about using it...

Allow me to grab a beer and finish the story... Ok, homebrew in hand, I will continue...

Anyhow, because I had 5 gallons of beer with no headspace in a 1.050 brew, I had some blowoff - so I switched to a blowoff tube. Well, when fermentation slowed a bit, I replaced with a clean airlock - more blowoff. I went back to the blowoff tube. The beer continued to ferment slowly, but the fermenter was nasty at this point and I just became more and more uncomfortable with the shape of the fermenter and finally transferred it over to a new 5 gallon glass fermenter.

After transferring, I noticed a lot of very flocculant yeast were left behind. There was yeast clinging to the walls of the soiled fermenter. I am afraid I left most of the good yeast behind in the first fermenter. Airlock activity has slowed significantly and the beer is low enough in the fermenter now that my turkey baster is really having trouble grabbing enough wort for a sample. I could buy a wine thief, but I would love to not have to... My instinct is to repitch and allow the yeast to just catch up and ferment the 1.027 beer down to its target 1.016, but what do you guys think?

By the way: For those considering buying those fancy glass fermentation kits, save yourself the trouble - I love my buckets.

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Old 02-14-2011, 11:41 AM   #2
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Get a short hose of the correct size and attach it to the end of the turkey baster.

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Old 02-14-2011, 12:15 PM   #3
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I wouldn't repitch, I would just wait. You have a lot of yeast there in suspension that you can't necessarily see. All the yeast that had flocced out were lazy and not doing anything anyway. The ones that are still floating in suspension are the workhorses that you need to pamper at this point.

RDWHAHB

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Old 02-14-2011, 12:25 PM   #4
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Just passing along a couple of tips I've seen in other threads. You don't mention your fermentation temp, but if it's currently on the low end of the recommended range for your yeast, you might consider bumping it up 2 or 3 degrees to encourage them yeasties to get on with it. Many folks also suggest gently rocking the fermenter to get a little movement. I'm with you on the buckets — they're inexpensive and easy to deal with.

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Old 02-14-2011, 05:33 PM   #5
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What yeast did you use? I used wlp028(edinbough) on a 1.060 scottish ale fermented around 60 deg and it took about 4 1/2 weeks to fully ferment out. I would just wait it out and take some more gravity samples.

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Old 02-15-2011, 09:50 PM   #6
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I had actually been fermenting a bit warm for the style. I usually use my kegerator to control temps with a controller, but it was tied up with a Rye IPA keg, so I used a water bath which kept temps in the range of 60 - 72 (warm for the style).

Yeah, I keep the glass around for secondary, but my buckets make better beer than most commercials, so either my pallet isn't refined enough to detect bucket-related errors, or they aren't there. I am good either way

Quote:
Originally Posted by geezerpk View Post
Just passing along a couple of tips I've seen in other threads. You don't mention your fermentation temp, but if it's currently on the low end of the recommended range for your yeast, you might consider bumping it up 2 or 3 degrees to encourage them yeasties to get on with it. Many folks also suggest gently rocking the fermenter to get a little movement. I'm with you on the buckets — they're inexpensive and easy to deal with.
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Old 02-15-2011, 09:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sagnew440 View Post
What yeast did you use? I used wlp028(edinbough) on a 1.060 scottish ale fermented around 60 deg and it took about 4 1/2 weeks to fully ferment out. I would just wait it out and take some more gravity samples.
Yep, Edinbough was my yeast of choice, and the ferment was pretty slooooow despite pitching a 500ml starter. Though 500ml is smaller than most starters, I usually pitch the vial directly with great, speedier results, so I would have expected a quicker ferment, but maybe this yeast just takes that long... I don't know that I made the wrong decision with the transfer though, that fermenter was nasty and this beer needs to age. I will find a way to test the gravity in the next few days and post an update. Worst case, the 3% alcohol already present should keep out the nasties while I play with the beer.

Thanks for all the help guys, as usual.
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